1. What are
the terms of reference of the Mayor's 'flooding task and
finish' referred to in media releases of 23rd July and 6th
August 2012 beyond what is stated in the media releases?
The Terms of Reference which have
been agreed by the Task Group are as follows:
Terms of Reference
The Group will seek to address the
How did the Council and its partners
respond to the flooding of 28 June? What worked well? What
could be improved and how?
How can the Council alongside its
partners, support residents and communities to ensure that
they are prepared for future flooding instances? How can
they inform residents best about how to be ready for
flooding and what to do should it happen?
What support do local authorities and
their partners need from Central Government and other
bodies to strengthen their resilience against flooding
given its increased prevalence in recent years?
How can each organisation’s policies
be adapted to take into account the risk of flooding?
The Group will, following its
deliberations and discussions, come forward with a plan of
action for the council, its partners and the community to
ensure that North Tyneside is effectively prepared for
flooding, be even more proactive when it hits and able to
Through having all the relevant
organisations around the table, it is hoped the outcomes
will deliver real actions that will increase the
resilience of North Tyneside to the increasingly frequent
extreme weather seen of late.
The terms of
reference are sensible and appropriate but I am left
wondering if there is too little emphasis on prevention
of flooding (compared with responses to flooding
incidents) by the main agents with the responsibility -
North Tyneside Council (NTC) and Northumbrian Water Ltd.
council members are part of the group?
Cllr Ed Hodson
(as Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport), Cllr
George Westwater (Conservative group nomination), Cllr
Brian Burdis (Labour Group nomination) and Cllr David Ord
(Liberal Democrat nomination).
understand from Cllr. Burdis that there have been only 2
meetings so far - this is understandable bearing in mind
that August is the height of the holiday season!
it intended to complete the work by a deadline, and if so
what is it?
The Mayor was keen for this to be a
short, focused piece of work to feed into emerging Budget
discussions, and therefore, the work will be completed
before the end of September.
the deadline should be extended bearing in mind the
holiday season. It would be better to get the outcomes
right rather than simply meeting an unreasonable
it intended for the group to produce a report on the work
of the 'flooding task and finish' group? (If so, I would
like to see a draft version before the final version is
A report which details the
information and recommendations to be taken through to
Cabinet will be prepared at the conclusion of the Group.
Those who have been part of the Group will have the
opportunity to feed into the draft. There is no intention
for the draft report to be available for public comments.
making the request to see a draft version of a report on
the work of the 'task & finish' group I did not
intend to ask that it be available for public comments.
I was offering my services as an experienced
professional engineer whose work included the review of
draft papers/reports prior to publication as well as
supervision/review/assessment of post graduate students'
work sponsored by Parsons/Rolls Royce. Any comments I
would make would be constructive and have usually led to
improvements in clarity.
5. Are minutes of any meetings
of the 'flooding task and finish' group to be made
available for public scrutiny?
The meetings are not minuted but
notes are taken. As the meetings include external partners
there may be sensitive information discussed, therefore,
we would require their consent before any notes were made
publicly available. The intention is for the notes to be
available alongside the report.
not believe any of the participants would object to
having their contributions to the 'task & finish'
group's work available to public scrutiny.
is the current schedule for cleansing of gullies in
Grosvenor Drive east and when were they last cleansed
according to any earlier schedule?
Please see directly below for a
screen print of the current schedule for cleansing of
gullies in Grosvenor Drive East. Column "C" shows the
location of the works and column "D" shows the week in
the schedule that the gullies will be completed.
cleanse in Jan / Feb 2011; next programmed cleanse is
Drive is on the 18 / 24 month cycle under the new
information about the cleansing of gullies is NOT
credible. Although I have sent a note to local residents
about the gullies being cleared in the Grosvenor Estate
during this week I doubt that this will happen.
the schedule in the extract from the Excel spreadsheet
contradicts the statement by Mr Harvey in one of his
emails dated 7 September - " I have been speaking with our
front line workforce and they are going to attend to the
gullies in Grosvenor Drive in the coming weeks".
your report (24 August, in a note to Mr Harvey) that
residents observed a cleansing vehicle being unable to get
down the street due to parked cars indicates that the
schedule is not being worked to.
only time I am sure that at least 2 gullies were cleansed
(other than one at the end of Grosvenor Drive that I
reported heavy pooling around, earlier this year) was over
6/7 June 2000 - this included the one in the access road
to the YMCA - and took place 1 day after I reported the
flooding of the access road as featured in
photographs linked to the temporary webpage on localised
All but a few gullies in the Grosvenor Estate were
cleared on the morning of Wednesday, 12 September.
Access to a few gullies was denied by parked cars.